- February 21, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
TOPIC: Science & Tech.
Context- The Centre is working on a national policy on synthetic biology, an emerging science that deals with engineering life forms for a wide range of applications from making designer medicines to foods.
- The Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology released a draft foresight paper on synthetic biology.
- As part of the 12th Five-Year Plan, India had set up a task force on systems biology and synthetic biology re- search in 2011.
- However, Parliament is yet to clear the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2013, for the creation of an independent regulator to adjudicate research around genetic engineering including synthetic biology.
- Synthetic biology refers to the science of using genetic sequencing, editing, and modification to create unnatural organisms or organic molecules that can function in living systems. e.g. GM crops.
- Synthetic biology is seen as one of the top 10 breakthrough technologies as part of the “new industrial revolution”.
- The term ‘synthetic biology’ was first used by Barbara Hobomin in 1980, to describe bacteria that had been genetically engineered using recombinant DNA technology.
- Synthetic biology enables scientists to design and synthesise new sequences of DNA from scratch.
- Instances of application of synthetic biology include the use of gene editing systems such as CRISPR that allow defective genes in animals, plants and even people to be silenced, or changed, and control biological outcomes.